§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the cost of the employment of Ernst and Young as consultants in two pilot areas commencing on 2 October in connection with the identification of benefit claimant fraud; and which two areas have been selected for this. 
§ Mr. Heald
The estimated cost of the employment of Ernst and Young to work in partnership with fraud managers in the Benefits Agency for a period of 12 months is £525,000. The two areas taking part are West Mercia and Manchester. This partnership will examine work processes, information technology and management of fraud investigations. What we learn from this partnership will be applied across the whole of the Benefits Agency, helping further to increase the productivity of its fraud investigation services and to target resources more effectively.